Presented By CyGames
Selene: a lunar construction game

Opportunity 1. Selene: A Lunar Construction GaME

Date Posted: March 23, 2011

Imagine sitting at your computer and blasting away at what will quickly become a full-fledged, pockmarked moon like our own. All the while you’re learning about the solar system’s basic geological processes. That’s what students have in store when they play Selene ( The game received its most recent honor in July when Disney Research tabbed Selene as one of only 15 finalists from around the world in its Learning Challenge Competition. Disney recognized it for being one of the 15 most engaging, delightful, educational, and inspiring learning widgets of the year.

Selene is easy for teachers to incorporate. Kids can play it anytime, anywhere and as homework or for extra credit. Kids ages 9 and up can play it, and the game is equally suitable for upper elementary, middle school, high school, and even undergraduate players. The first edition of the game was funded by NASA, and the new enhanced version, Selene II, is funded by NSF. When kids play, they’re helping us study how important, often complex science concepts might be better grasped through gameplay.

What’s it like to play Selene?

Here’s what players have said about Selene:
  • “I can't believe that’s my moon. Still can't believe it. Wow! I did all of that!”
  • “I think this is really cool, so when I get home I’m playing this. It’s beast.”
  • “The game is easy, except you have to think a lot.”
  • “I really liked the game.”
Watch young players talk about Selene.
Watch fifth- and seventh-graders play it.
Watch West Virginia Pubic Broadcasting's Selene feature on YouTube.
Watch NASA Education EdLine News Feature.

Adults have been positive too. Read their testimonials.

Our research empirically demonstrates that Selene works. Players feel they build expertise. Assessment data confirm Selene players learn how the Moon formed and developed, and they learn more from playing the game than they do from watching an instructional video.

Selene is part of the CyGaMEs project, which studies learning and assessment in game-based environments. Selene research will help the nation build learning environments that increase academic achievement. But this work requires thousands and thousands of players. Visit and click the Recruiter tab to learn how you can give the Selene opportunity to your students. Being a Selene recruiter is a minimal commitment: distribute permission forms and game access codes.

To schedule a 10-minute orientation, e-mail with times and days of the week you are available for our telephone call. (IMPORTANT: INCLUDE YOUR TIME ZONE.) Please provide your name and phone number as well.

Contact Selene.

Instructional Unit

Turn your Selene players into MoonGazers, or become a MoonGazer yourself! Read more.